But there are considerations which bid us hesitate to admit an Apostolic adoption of the Septuagint en bloc. The Book of Wisdom, emphatically Hellenist in character, presents to us Divine wisdom as flowing on from generation to generation and making holy souls and prophets (7:27, in the Greek). They were written over a period of about 1500 years from approximately 2000 B.C. This was an era of construction, a turning-point in the history of Israel. The Catholic Encyclopedia. the prophetico-historical books: Josue, Judges, Samuel, (I and II Kings), and Kings (III and IV Kings)] and the Latter Prophets (Isaias, Jeremias, Ezechiel, and the twelve minor Prophets, counted by the Hebrews as one book). For the other terminus the lowest possible date is that of the prologue to Ecclesiasticus (c. 132 B.C. Though the Old Testament reveals no formal notion of inspiration, the later Jews at least must have possessed the idea (cf. The most explicit definition of the Catholic Canon is that given by the Council of Trent, Session IV, 1546. Going back to the prologue of Ecclesiasticus, prefixed to it about 132 B.C., we find mentioned "the Law, and the Prophets, and others that have followed them". In opposition to scholars of more recent views, conservatives do not admit that the Prophets and the Hagiographa represent two successive stages in the formation of the Palestinian Canon. You’ll miss the best part: reading through the books of the Bible yourself! Deuterocanonical books are: Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach or Ecclesiasticus, Baruch with Letter of These number seven books: Tobias (Tobit), Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, I and II Machabees, and three documents added to protocanonical books, viz., the supplement to Esther, from x, 4, to the end, the Canticle of the Three Youths (Song of the Three Children) in Daniel 3, an… St. Epiphanius shows hesitation about the rank of the deuteros; he esteemed them, but they had not the same place as the Hebrew books in his regard. They adduce the fact that certain deutero books were quoted with veneration, and even in a few cases as Scriptures, by Palestinian or Babylonian doctors; but the private utterances of a few rabbis cannot outweigh the consistent Hebrew tradition of the canon, attested by Josephus--although he himself was inclined to Hellenism--and even by the Alexandrian-Jewish author of IV Esdras. We find the substantive first applied to the Sacred Scriptures in the fourth century, by St. Athanasius; for its derivatives, the Council of Laodicea of the same period speaks of the kanonika biblia and Athanasius of the biblia kanonizomena. The Tridentine catalogue has been given above. Neither--and this is remarkable--in the proceedings is there manifest any serious doubt of the canonicity of the disputed writings. It is antecedently very probable that according as a book was written early or late it entered into a sacred collection and attained a canonical standing. to 425 B.C. The Catholic Church named these 7 “deuterocanonical” books. It has been suggested that this article or section be, Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Canon of the Holy Scriptures, https://en.wikisource.org/w/index.php?title=Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Canon_of_the_Old_Testament&oldid=5307164, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. APA citation. We are therefore forced to admit that the leaders of Alexandrian Judaism showed a notable independence of Jerusalem tradition and authority in permitting the sacred boundaries of the Canon, which certainly had been fixed for the Prophets, to be broken by the insertion of an enlarged Daniel and the Epistle of Baruch. According to this older school, the principle which dictated the separation between the Prophets and the Hagiographa was not of a chronological kind, but one found in the very nature of the respective sacred compositions. The Council of Florence therefore taught the inspiration of all the Scriptures, but did not formally pass on their canonicity. There are both psychological and historical reasons against the supposition that the Old Testament canon grew spontaneously by a kind of instinctive public recognition of inspired books. and the beginning of the Christian era. A large number of Catholic authorities see a canonization of the deuteros in a supposed wholesale adoption and approval, by the Apostles, of the Greek, and therefore larger, Old Testament. The whole Biblical Canon therefore consists of the canons of the Old and New Testaments. Moreover, as has been pointed out by several authorities, the independent spirit of the Hellenists could not have gone so far as to setup a different official Canon from that of Jerusalem, without having left historical traces of such a rupture. But the Catholic Scripturists who admit an Esdrine Canon are far from allowing that Esdras and his colleagues intended to so close up the sacred library as to bar any possible future accessions. The oldest extant copies date from the fourth and fifth centuries of our era, and were therefore made by Christian hands; nevertheless scholars generally admit that these faithfully represent the Old Testament as it was current among the Hellenist or Alexandrian Jews in the age immediately preceding Christ. The Old Testament ends at near 400 B.C. The rejection of these books by the Russian theologians and authorities is a lapse which began early in the eighteenth century. These same conservative students of the Canon--now scarcely represented outside the Church--maintain, for the reception of the documents composing these groups into the sacred literature of the Israelites, dates which are in general much earlier than those admitted by critics. ), a contemporary of Esdras. The Old Testament has 39 books in total, which consist of… Pentateuch – 5 books Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. St. Melito, Bishop of Sardis (c. 170), first drew up a list of the canonical books of the Old Testament. Since the traditionalists infer the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch from other sources, they can rely for proof of an early collection of these books chiefly on Deuteronomy 31:9-13, 24-26, where there is question of a books of the law, delivered by Moses to the priests with the command to keep it in the ark and read it to the people on the feast of Tabernacles. The larger Canon of the Old Testament passed through the Apostles' hands to the church tacitly, by way of their usage and whole attitude toward its components; an attitude which, for most of the sacred writings of the Old Testament, reveals itself in the New, and for the rest, must have exhibited itself in oral utterances, or at least in tacit approval of the special reverence of the faithful. The first is the so-called "Decretal of Gelasius", de recipiendis et non recipiendis libris, the essential part of which is now generally attributed to a synod convoked by Pope Damasus in the year 382. It was the exigencies of controversy that first led Luther to draw a sharp line between the books of the Hebrew Canon and the Alexandrian writings. Welcome to our List of Bible Books page. The protocanonical books of the Old Testament correspond with those of the Bible of the Hebrews, and the Old Testament as received by Protestants. ), which speaks of "the Law", and the Prophets, and the others that have followed them". But even Philo, while indicating acquaintance with the deutero literature, nowhere cites it in his voluminous writings. Since the traditionalists infer the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch from other sources, they can rely for proof of an early collection of these books chiefly on Deuteronomy, xxxi, 9-13, 24-26, where there is question of a books of the law, delivered by Moses to the priests with the command to keep it in the ark and read it to the people on the feast of Tabernacles. II Esdras, viii-x; II Machabees, ii, 13, in the Greek original.) Critical views of the formation of the Palestinian Canon. Abdias, Nahum, and Sophonias, while not directly honoured, are included in the quotations from the other minor Prophets by virtue of the traditional unity of that collection. So while the intuitive sense and increasingly reverent consciousness of the faithful element of Israel could, and presumably did, give a general impulse and direction to authority, we must conclude that it was the word of official authority which actually fixed the limits of the Hebrew Canon, and here, broadly speaking, the advanced and conservative exegetes meet on common ground. The Prophets. There is an Apocrypha appendix to the British Revised Version, in a separate volume. The influence of Origen's and Athanasius's restricted canon naturally spread to the West. Neither did it trouble itself about questions of authorship or character of contents. The Protocanonical books were understood as those which directly dealt with the Salvation of humanity. We find the substantive first applied to the Sacred Scriptures in the fourth century, by St. Athanasius; for its derivatives, the Council of Laodicea of the same period speaks of the kanonika biblia and Athanasius of the biblia kanonizomena. For the Spanish Church valuable testimony is found in the work of the heretic Priscillian, "Liber de Fide et Apocryphis"; it supposes a sharp line existing between canonical and uncanonical works, and that the Canon takes in all the deuteros. The Catholic writers Nickes, Movers, Danko, and more recently Kaulen and Mullen, have advocated the view that originally the Palestinian Canon must have included all the deuterocanonicals, and so stood down to the time of the Apostles (Kaulen, c. 100 B.C. An analysis of Jerome's expressions on the deuterocanonicals, in various letters and prefaces, yields the following results: first, he strongly doubted their inspiration; secondly, the fact that he occasionally quotes them, and translated some of them as a concession to ecclesiastical tradition, is an involuntary testimony on his part to the high standing these writings enjoyed in the Church at large, and to the strength of the practical tradition which prescribed their readings in public worship. These consist of seven books: Tobias, Judith, Baruch, Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom, First and Second Machabees; also certain additions to Esther and Daniel. The oldest extant copies date from the fourth and fifth centuries of our era, and were therefore made by Christian hands; nevertheless scholars generally admit that these faithfully represent the Old Testament as it was current among the Hellenist or Alexandrian Jews in the age immediately preceding Christ. This was an era of construction, a turning-point in the history of Israel. The African Church, always a staunch supporter of the contested books, found itself in entire accord with Rome on this question. Its ancient version, the Vetus Latina (less correctly the Itala), had admitted all the Old Testament Scriptures. For the period following the Babylonian Exile the conservative argument takes a more confident tone. In 1442, during the life, and with the approval, of this Council, Eugenius IV issued several Bulls, or decrees, with a view to restore the Oriental schismatic bodies to communion with Rome, and according to the common teaching of theologians these documents are infallible states of doctrine. The influence of Origen's and Athanasius's restricted canon naturally spread to the West. Lips., iii, 57; De migratione Abrahæ, 11,299; ed. In the first edition of Luther's Bible, 1534, the deuteros were relegated, as apocrypha, to a separate place between the two Testaments. In the first edition of Luther's Bible, 1534, the deuteros were relegated, as apocrypha, to a separate place between the two Testaments. The Council of Trent's Definition of the Canon (1546). Far more arresting in favour of an Esdrine formulation of the Hebrew Bible is the much-discussed passage from Josephus, "Contra Apionem", I, viii, in which the Jewish historian, writing about A.D. 100, registers his conviction and that of his coreligionists--a conviction presumably based on tradition--that the Scriptures of the Palestinian Hebrews formed a closed and sacred collection from the days of the Persian king, Artaxerxes Longiamanus (465-425 B.C. To characterize a book which held no acknowledged place in the divine library, the rabbis spoke of it as "defiling the hands", a curious technical expression due probably to the desire to prevent any profane touching of the sacred roll. 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